|Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Donkey Skin Processors Marketers and Export Association (DSPMEA), has said the country can generate over $2 billion from donkey breeding, processing, marketing and export, if sufficiently investment is made in the sector.
DSPMEA National Vice President, Ifeanyi Dike, in a statement while reacting to a claim made by a United Kingdom-based group, the Donkey Sanctuary that the country was running out of donkeys, added that it was collaborating with Earthwheel Logistics Ltd, to take the livestock beyond Nigeria.
He said: “We understand the fears in certain quarters about donkeys going into extinction, but these fears are misplaced and even the bill to prohibit the export of donkeys may not have gone through some empirical processes. This business has the potential to generate about $2 billion to Nigeria annually.
“This initiative to produce more donkeys and use their derivatives for export in order to earn foreign exchange for Nigeria is in line with the diversification agenda of the Federal government in the agriculture sector.
“We have set up donkey ranches in Bauchi and Jigawa states and other parts of the North, and we have established another mini ranch in Ufuma in Anambra State, where modern facilities have been put in place to enhance the breeding of donkeys,” he said.
Dike maintained that donkey value chain has created over 5,000 jobs, which ranges from the breeders, to those who slaughter, down to the sellers, adding that government should not place export ban on it.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has in Abuja, honoured 60 of its staff across the country for their outstanding performances.
Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Umar, urged them to sustain the tempo of excellence, adding that those who were not rewarded should put in more selfless and meaningful efforts ahead of next year’s edition.
Represented by the Director, Special Duties, Jubrin Umar, he pointed out that country can only move forward especially in the area of economic diversification if civil servants can double their efforts to assist.
“One of the major challenges facing Nigeria today is the urgent need to build a resilient and dynamic economy that is well placed to harness the country’s abundant resources endowment. Government alone cannot achieve this without the major contributions and selfless efforts of civil servants who are also part of the executive,” he said.